DENSI2015 and Feeling Numb

I'm waking up numb.

No, it's not because I was out all night drinking. (I really wasn't!) It's not because the bed was too short or because the sheets just don't know how to stay on the mattress. It's not because I have much to do before I go back to work on Monday. I'm numb not because I have logged more walking miles this week or lugged my Discovery tote around for several days.

My brain is buzzing from all of the mental pictures that are popping around inside like atoms in a reactor.  I try to focus on one idea and four more come screaming through the door.

It's Thursday, the last full day of DENSI2015 in Washington, DC.  I've met so many awesome people!  I'm around a large group of people and have met first-timers walk around and own DENSI as well as the veteran attendees. I've seen some of the quietest empower themselves with an awesome, booming digital voice online.  I've seen collaborative note-taking spaces remain sparse because all the fingers of participants were too busy trying new things, using multiple devices to capture or voices were too busy connecting shared ideas into new realities.

How can this week have gone by so quickly?  I will endeavor to focus not on the impending feelings of separation and loss tomorrow, but instead on my continued ADD nightmare.  I already have so much to capture and yet I'm going to sit through another day of being flooded by ideas and future realities that will impact students back home.

I'm waking up numb.  But it's my own fault.  I bought a ticket for the lotto that only has one ball, DENSI2015, and I won.  Now how will I ever spend all of this experience?


Day 8: It Was The Real Thing!

We got up extra early in Williamsburg and hit the road for Atlanta Georgia. We had big ideas about seeing the Coke exhibit and covering a lot of ground. Mission accomplished!

We enjoyed the World of Coke more than I thought we would. Yelpsters warn that it is just one big Coke ad, and it is. But knowing that ahead of time, the exhibits were much more enjoyable. Tasting differs CocaCola Co. drinks from around the world was a hit. (Be warned about Italy's drink!)

After a quick jump onto Priceline, we got a huge deal on a very nice hotel downtown. Kids felt like royalty for the price of regular safe hotel. 

The evening ended with a quick walk to dinner at the Hard Rock. All of the music memorabilia was a big hit. 
One more night on the road tomorrow and then we arrive back in Houston!


Yesterday we had a fun time hiking around Gatlinburg, Tennessee and going to the top of Clingman's Dome, where we watched the sun set. M1/spiderman 

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Day 7: Colonial Awesomeness!

It was decided that Jamestown, or James-Towne, held a higher priority for us, so we started out there.  Seeing the archeological digs, the artifacts, the buildings, glass blower and hearing the stories was great!  ...for me. ;)  Road-weary kids liked it, but to a much-lesser degree. 

We went from there to Williamsburg. My memories and some tourist websites said we could spend part of a day walking around for free. After walking into town from public parking, we soon found that about everything required a pass or ticket.  I would suggest that it is a wasted trip if trying to freebie it. We got cheap tickets and saw metal worker, tins moth, leather worker, cabinet maker and more. The group enthusiasm increased as we saw more cool things.  Tired and hungry, we finished our tour and returned to the hotel. 

In what became a highlight of the trip, we cleaned up, put on 'good clothes' and went to Maurizio's Italian Restaurant. If all of the places we've been so far, the crew was the saddest about leaving this place. Even finicky eaters gave the food 6 out of 5 stars. 

Day 6: A Willie Nelson Kind Of Day

Willie Nelson's On The Road Again, not that other stuff he does in the tour bus. Today was a travel day. A long travel day. Looking back at the day, I didn't even take one photo. 

We got to Williamsburg safely and prepared for a day of touring. 

Day 5: Hikers Extraordinaire

The park has strict rules about no bringing in your own firewood and keeping all containers (that have ever had any food in them) locked inside the cars. Ranger Rick said that there have been more bears in the park this year and "they can smell food inside the package over a mile away."

One of our planned destinations was Grotto Falls.  It was a great, short hike. The worst part really was just finding a place to park on the narrow, parking-challenged motor tour road. There were a lot of friendly people on the trail and many opportunities to take photos of the mountain, streams and waterfalls.  Grotto falls actually allows you to get being the waterfall for your photos.  It was pretty crowded down there, but worth the hike.

My crew took some time back at camp to relax and then we went off for a drive up to Clingman's Dome.  It is the 3rd highest peak east of the Mississippi and provided substantial opportunities for fantastic views.  We, and about 50 close friends, stayed for the sunset over the Appalachians.  We knew it was going to get colder, but the upper 40 degrees in the wind made for very numb fingers as the sun went down.

Day 6: Summer 2015

Day 4: The Great Smoky Mountain National Park

We left Corinth with our first planned stop squarely in our sights.  Cinderella wanted to go to Subzero Ice Cream before we ever left Texas. The staff wasn't the most friendly, but the novelty of having your cream and toppings quick-frozen with nitrogen was a unique experience.

We finally made it to the Smoky Mountain National Park, after a very interesting ride through Gatlinburg, and were able to get the wet tent put up and collapse inside after a quick bite to eat.  The tent had plenty of room for the beds and kids shared a movie off an iPad as the drifted off to sleep in a much cooler environment.

Wish fulfilled!

Nitrogen tanks provided a desert novelty

Appropriately taken in front of Ripley's.